Because access to care is not always guaranteed, we’ve been working to help close the gap on the nation’s rheumatologist shortage through our fellowship initiative. The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) recently announced the recipient of the Arthritis Foundation’s Charles F. and Marilyn Meier Pediatric Rheumatology Fellowship fund award. This award is specifically given to pediatric fellowship students at UCSF. The 2019-2020 award goes to William D. Soulsby, III, MD.
Dr. Soulsby earned his medical degree from St. Louis University School of Medicine, then completed the internship and residency programs in pediatrics at UCSF. During his residency, Dr. Soulsby’s research focused on the effect of poverty on disease activity in juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), the most common form of juvenile arthritis.
“As a resident in pediatrics, I sought a career that would combine my desire to create long-lasting patient relationships, manage complex chronic disease, use clinical skills and diagnostic reasoning to think broadly about all organ systems and serve a unique patient population in need,” explains Dr. Soulsby. “I found all of this and more through pediatric rheumatology and am thrilled to be at the beginning of my clinical and research training in this rich field.”
“I hope to continue my career as a clinician and clinical researcher to further the field of pediatric rheumatology,” he says. “Clinically, my interests are focused on JIA and systemic lupus erythematosus.
“From a research perspective, I’m interested in the complex intersection of chronic rheumatic disease, psychosocial determinants of health and how these are related to patient outcomes and predict disease activity and severity.”
Thanks to generous support from the Meier family, Dr. Soulsby is now a first-year fellow in the pediatric rheumatology program at UCSF. The Meier family has funded 14 pediatric fellowships at UCSF since 2005.
This fellowship began because Marilyn Meier was diagnosed with lupus at 12, and she and her husband want to make sure there is prompt diagnosis and good care for children with autoimmune diseases, as well as high level research to better understand these diseases.